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Arizona Diamondbacks: Peralta swinging the bat likes days of old

By Mark Brown
Outfielder David Peralta (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY) Sports
Outfielder David Peralta (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY) Sports /
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Outfielder David Peralta of the Arizona Diamondbacks set a franchise record for most doubles in one game.

Just a few days ago, outfielder David Peralta of the Arizona Diamondbacks was barely holding his head above water. Now after just a few games, Peralta raised his batting average nearly 70 points and appears to have regained his lethal swing.

Given his mannerism around the bases and the apt nickname “The Freight Train,” Peralta recent success at the plate could now earn the native of Valencia, Venezuela, “The Fright Train.”

Like so many on this team, Peralta refuses to talk about himself, delineate any changes to push toward success or even hint at things he may now be doing correctly. Instead, his mentality is the club’s mentality and several in the Arizona clubhouse credited this attitude with the way manager Torey Lovullo runs his club. It’s open, transparent, congenial, cooperative and engaging. Players discuss matters, baseball or otherwise, candidly among themselves and Lovullo keeps a safe distance.

All of which has benefited Peralta, who came to camp this February as recovered from an assortment of injuries. Slow with production, Peralta found himself platooned in right field with Chris Owings for a few games and that’s in step with Lovullo’s assertion that starters will not start all games.

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Still, Peralta came off the past road trip with a .237 (14-for-59) batting average. After three days of hitting Los Angeles Dodger pitching, Peralta raised his average nearly 70 points. Coming into play Monday against the San Diego Padres, Peralta was up to .306 (22-for-72), including a record-breaking night on Saturday.

That’s when he ripped four doubles in one game and that established a franchise record for most two-baggers in  single contest. Relative to his success, Peralta told Venom Strikes that his personality coincides with his success rate.

"I’m just having a good time. We want to score as many runs as we can, and it’s fun to help in any way I can. Wherever pitch they give to me, I’ll take it. I go up there swinging the bat because if you think too much, then you can get into bad habits. That’s working for me."

Peralta is coming off a season where he landed on the disabled list three times and shut down for year on Aug. 11. That was to stabilize a tendon in his right wrist. For 2016, Peralta appeared in only 48 games and hit .251 (43-for-171).

With recent days, it appears Peralta regained the touch which enabled him to hit a career-high .312 during the 2015 season. Through the opening weeks, Lovullo told Venom Strikes Peralta’s slow start could be expected.

"When I first saw David in spring training, I saw a baseball player who was eager and excited to be back at work. He’s definitely enthusiastic and that translated into positive at-bats in spring training. He had a lull at the start of the season, and that’s to be expected after an injury. With David, like any other player, it’s a process."

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For now, Peralta is again over .300 and with his ability, energy and commitment, there is no reason to expect a drop off of any cliff.

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